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14-10-2021 by 
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For the first time since we started in 2014 it is not worth switching energy supplier, the standard variable rates are the cheapest you will get and any fixed price tariff will cost you on average £300-£400 more per year. So if you can't switch energy supplier to save money, what can you do this winter to save?

 

1. Apply for the Warm Home Discount

This will give you £140 towards your winter energy bills. You may be eligible if your household income is under £16,190 and there is a child, someone with a disability or a pensioner in the home. See here for more information.

 

2. Get a smart meter

This will keep your bills up-to-date and accurate making it easier to budget and to stay on top of things. The in-house monitor will also show you how much energy you are using on a daily basis and how much energy different appliances use. This can help identify opportunities to cut your usage.

 

3. Take measures around the house to save energy and water

There are all sorts of things you can do to save energy and water that don't cost anything. Visit the Energy Saving Trust for more ideas.

 

4. Apply for a grant to make your home more energy efficient

Have a look at our webpage here to look for grants for replacement boilers or insulation. If you're unsure what your improvements your home may need, and you have moved in in the last 15 years, then you could have a look at its Energy Performance Certificate (you can find yours here).

 

5. Check your direct debit amount

Some energy companies are currently setting direct debits at unreasonably high amounts. There should be a section on your bill that gives you your 'personal projection', i.e. the total expected cost of your energy for the year. Divide this amount by 12 and see if your direct debit seeems reasonable. If it seems too high (taking into account the current balance on your account) then call your energy supplier to discuss further. If it's too low then consider paying more to avoid building up debt. 

 

6. Assess any debt repayments

If you're paying debt back to an energy company ask if the repayments can be reduced. They should take your circumstances into account when looking at the affordability of repayment amounts.

 

7. Investigate grants to help with energy debts

Some of the big energy suppliers have schemes that can help with grants to clear energy debts if there was a good reason why the debt built up (e.g. change of circumstances, physical or mental illness or disability). There are also charitable trusts that help people who have worked in certain jobs. Do a search for possible grants on the Turn2Us website.

 

8. Sign up onto the Priority Services Register

If there is vulnerability in your household (e.g. a child under 5, a pensioner, someone with a health condition) then you can get extra support during a powercut or interruption to your gas supply. Sign up here and use our partner code 006 to tell them we sent you.

 

9. Get a water meter if you have more bedrooms than people in your home

Water meters are fitted free of charge and you even get 2 years to revert back to previous charges if you find you are paying more.

 

10. Investigate schemes to cut your water costs

Water companies have social tariffs to help households on a low income, if you're paying more than £450 per year (£38 per month) and are on a low income you may be eligible. The Yorkshire Water schemes can be found here.

 

If you need any further help or advice on any of these please get in touch - kate@yorkshireenergdoctor.org.uk

 

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